In what can only been seen as a major boost of support for the racing greyhound industry, the NRA’s Political Action Fund announced Tuesday that it opposes Amendment 13, which bans wagered dog racing in Florida. In an alert sent to NRA members across the state, Marion Hammer called the amendment a “trojan horse.” Hammer, a past President of the NRA, says backers of the racing ban – primarily the Humane Society of the United States – are after more than just banning dog racing. “Clearly the intent is to establish a legal foothold in the Florida Constitution that they can use to go after legitimate activities, like hunting, that they don’t like,” Hammer said in the email alert.
The NRA’s is opposed to language placed in the amendment but not listed on the ballot description. “The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida.”
Backers of Amendment 13 called the NRA Alert a “scare tactic.”
“It would be unreasonable to conclude Amendment 13 extends to other forms of racing. The ballot language accurately describes the scope of Amendment 13 as being limited to racing of dogs in connection with wagering,” said Carey Theil of the anti-dog racing organization Grey2K, which supports the amendment. Theil says a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling on Amendment 13 concluded the proposal only applies to wagered greyhound racing.
The greyhound industry disputes Theil’s assessment. “The interpretation of this amendment is now up to Florida voters not the State Supreme Court,” said Jack Cory of the Florida Greyhound Association. “Because of this NRA alert, voters will now know that if Amendment 13 passes it could cause pandemonium not just for the greyhound industry but for hunters, fishers and farmers.”
Last week, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis said he was opposed to the amendment, adding it was a legislative issue not one for the State Constitution.
Amendment 13 needs 60 percent voter approval in November to be added to the Florida Constitution.